The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) was established in 1993. It is one of the EU’s decentralised agencies. The main objective of the Centre is to provide the EU and its Member States with factual and comparable information on drugs, drug addiction and their consequences in Europe, thus helping policymakers to design informed drug laws and strategies. It also helps professionals and practitioners working in the field to pinpoint best practice and new areas of research.

The socio-economic, demographic and international context in which the EU is developing its policy on drugs and the agency has been performing its activities has been evolving considerably over the last years: the drugs market is now worth 24 billion euro; new internet technologies and online marketplaces are emerging; the number of new Psychoactive Substances is on the rise; there has been a shift from drug use to poly-drug use – where people use two or more psychoactive drugs in combination; the issue of misuse of prescription drugs is becoming more and more important also in Europe. In addition most Member States' new strategies have evolved and now cover more addictions than only drugs (such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, etc.), given that addictive behaviours have common characteristics independently from the object/substance/activity of the addiction.

The founding regulation on the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction1 foresees that the Commission shall initiate an external evaluation of the Centre every six years to coincide with the last two 3-year work programmes of the Centre. The evaluation shall also include the Reitox system (European Information Network on Drugs and Drug Addiction). The evaluation report shall be transmitted to the European Parliament, the Council and the Centre's Management Board.

Purpose and scope

The evaluation of the EMCDDA will address its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added value, taking into account its performance, governance, internal organisational structure, working practices. In this context, the agency will be analysed also against the Common Approach on Decentralised Agencies , in order to identify possible deviations from that Approach and scope for possible efficiency gains and synergies.

The evaluation will cover the two pillars of the EMCDDA work, health and security. It will cover both internal and external activities of the Agency, including how the Agency cooperates with the relevant international organisations but also with the EU institutions and bodies. The evaluation will assess: a) the last two 3-year work programmes of the Centre (2013-2015 and 2016-2018), examining the way and extent to which the Centre effectively contributes to the implementation of the EU Drugs Strategy3 and its Action Plans , of the European Agenda on Security and fulfils its tasks laid down in its founding Regulation; b) the European Information Network on Drugs and Drug Addiction (Reitox) - whose members are national institutions or agencies responsible for data collection and reporting on drugs and drug addiction - in particular to evaluate to what extent the network effectively contributes to the overall performance of the EMCDDA; c) if the provisions and the scope of the founding regulation are still adapted to current needs given the evolved context in which the Centre now operates. The evaluation will be conducted in a manner that it provides solid grounds for any possible decision concerning the agency's mandate.

Consultation strategy

The evaluation will rely on the consultation of all relevant stakeholders, in order to gather data, facts and views on the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added value of the Centre. A broad range of stakeholders will be consulted, both at EU level (Member States, other EU institutions and EU agencies,) and outside the EU (such as international organisations). Target groups (policymakers, scientific community, practitioners, health services, law enforcement) will also be reached. The Civil Society Forum will also be consulted. The Commission will also organise a 12-week online public consultation (accessible via the Commission's public consultations page) allowing the wider public to share views and inputs. It will run in Spring 2018. The questionnaire will be made available in English, French and German. Replies may be made in any of the 24 official EU languages. The results of all consultation activities will be summarised in a synopsis report annexed to the evaluation.